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Food & Dining // Heart-y Chef
Diana Helfand

Delicious Apples Take The Cake

This year, Pearl City is buzzing with activity thanks to volunteers at Pearl City Cultural Center Society (PCCCS), a nonprofit dedicated to presenting cultural events and supporting the administration of Pearl City High School Cultural Center Auditorium.

Led by a volunteer board under the leadership of Gregg Hoshida, a former member of the Honolulu Symphony who now works in the medical sales field, PCCCS has made great strides since its founding in July 2011. Past events range from local high school band performances to a concert with renowned jazz trumpeter and local boy Eric Miyashiro. The center also is home to the successful Uta Matsuri programs that preserve and celebrate the Japanese enka genre of music.

“When we first got together as a board, we only saw an ‘open road’ upon which to travel,” recalls Hoshida. “We want to develop programs that are familiar to the audience, entertaining to all, but just a few degrees off the main road. We want to be a place that people on the Leeward side can come to for local, national and international events without having to drive into town.”

PCCCS has intriguing events planned this year. On April 19, famed trumpeter Joe Burgstaller will present a master class titled “The Myth of Reality and The Illusion of Control.” The Canadian Brass alumnus will be in town for Hawaii Symphony Orchestra concerts, and his PCCCS master class will feature local, aspiring virtuosos. It’s free and open to the public.

With the PCCCS board cooking up events, they felt a special treat was in order.

Here’s a delicious recipe for apple cake that’s just perfect for brunch.

Experienced bakers can experiment with the type of fruit and quantity of sugar.

APPLE CAKE

* 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter (may use Smart Balance margarine)
* 3 Golden Delicious apples (or try it with your favorite apple variety for a new twist. You may want to reduce the sugar depending on the natural sweetness of the fruit)
* 2/3 cup flour (I use unbleached flour)
* 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (I prefer the kind without aluminum)
* 1/2 teaspoon salt (may omit for low-salt diets or use less)
* 2 eggsplus 1 egg yolk (or egg substitute plus 1 yolk)
* 1 teaspoon vanilla ( I like pure vanilla extract)
* 1 cup granulated sugar (you can reduce the amount of sugar, if desired)
* 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional)
* icing sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter a 9-inch round cake pan with 2-inch sides (a quiche pan with a removable bottom works well). In a large frying pan over low heat, melt butter. Pour 6 tablespoons of the butter into a small bowl and set aside. Peel, core and cut apples into 1/4-inch slices, and add to frying pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, beat eggs plus yolk until blended. Add the 6 tablespoons melted butter set aside earlier, plus vanilla, sugar and grated lemon zest. Stir in the flour mixture and the apples. Spoon into cake pan. Bake until the cake is browned, about 30-35 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and then remove from pan.

Just before serving, dust top with icing sugar.

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